#Media Issues
Broadcast Industry in the UK
United Kingdom

There is now a significant Filipino population in the United Kingdom. Over the past twenty years, the number of Filipinos living and working in the UK has increased by more than 833% from roughly 18,000 in 1986 to more than 150,000 by 2006. Of this number, about 70% live in Greater London area.

The Filipino community works in a variety of sectors, ranging from IT, aviation, education, hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants and casinos) and healthcare, chefs, and house managers. Increasingly, Filipinos have been recruited to the UK in significant numbers. Over the past five years, thousands have been recruited for the hospitality and healthcare sectors.

Perhaps the Filipino community is best known for the contribution it makes to the healthcare sector. Filipino nurses are consistently recognized for their high standards of professionalism. In the past eight years, more than 45,000 Filipinos were recruited into the health service, most of whom are nurses serving in the National Health Service while the remainder are working in the independent healthcare sector – mostly in private nursing homes.

Equally well received are the thousands of domestic workers who are housekeepers, cleaners and nannies. They are often employed by the members of the British establishment. Young professional women entrust their children to be looked after by Filipina nannies. Filipino domestic workers are well known to be hard-working, trustworthy and responsible.

Almost all of these domestic helpers are well educated with most of them having a degree-qualification as their background. Hence their high-demand as preferred employees by various sectors of the international society living in London.

A survey conducted amongst a limited sample of Filipinos living in the UK at present yielded some interesting findings:

65% of Filipinos are nurses and/or in the allied medical fields.
More than 10% are in domestic service.
A growing number of entrepreneurs of about 5%.
10-20% of the second-generation youths has gone to university or are still finishing university courses. Some of them have also become known as 'celebrities' due to their high profiles as models, actresses or musicians.


"On 26 September 2008 at 9 p.m., BBC 1 aired the comedy series Harry and Paul starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. The opening scene showed Paul seated on a chair on his front lawn, while still in his pyjamas. A young Asian-looking female was shown gyrating in front of him in a lascivious manner. The postman arrived to ask Harry, Paul's friend, what was going on. Harry told him that he is trying to see if his ‘Filipina maid' can seduce Paul who obviously looks depressed.

Harry then continued to shout instructions to the young girl and to Paul to 'hump' the Filipino maid. He remained unmoved while the girl even played with his hair. On further instructions from Harry, she continued to gyrate sexually in front of Paul. Harry then instructed the maid to 'present her rear' which she did while wiggling her bottom in a seductive manner. The maid did not succeed in seducing Paul as he got up from his chair to go to his house. Harry shouted at the girl in an angry voice to leave as she was useless in doing her job. The girl walked towards the pavement looking upset. While walking on the pavement, the postman looked at her in a leering way and followed her. After catching up with her, he was shown to be whispering in her right ear and the girl then walked off with the postman."

While the BBC series did have a warning that the contents of the show may be of an offensive nature and has been rated 16, this particular sketch is completely disgraceful, distasteful and a great example of gutter humour. The sketch reflected insensitivity on the part of the producers and the British Broadcasting Corporation who did not seem to worry that by particularly naming the girl as a 'Filipina maid' and with her employer ordering her to openly behave in a lascivious manner toward the neighbour on the front lawn of a house where the public can watch what she was doing, was tantamount to racism and worst sexual abuse and exploitation of the hapless young Filipina domestic worker employee.

You can watch the actual video by clicking here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dnf21/

Actual video clip courtesy of YouTube

Click here to find out how to complain about the BBC and its programs.

The Filipino community in the United Kingdom hereby condemns the BBC and the Harry and Paul Show for their tactless and insensitive behaviour and for inciting stereo-typed racial discrimination, vulgarity and violation of the maid's human rights. The show demeaned the dignity of honest labour while promoting the sex industry, domestic abuse and maltreatment of the blue-collar worker that effectively sustains this economy.

We now call on all the Filipinos, the British people and other nationals here in the United Kingdom and abroad to re-educate the BBC and the Television Broadcasting Industry about responsible and culturally sensitive broadcasting. As the UK government promotes equality and human rights of the people who live here now, the Harry and Paul Show and the BBC have shown that they have failed to do the same. The Filipinos in the UK are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work here. We all wish this country well and are trying our best to be accepted as a part of this great Nation. It is also part of our culture to respect women highly. Episode 4 of the show dishonoured our culture and our women and our workers. We are truly sad about that.

We therefore ask for your support to endorse this petition by signing your name below. We intend to send this Petition to the BBC.

NOTE: THis is NOT a Forum. Please only sign if you support the petition and campaign.

The Dignity and Respect for the Filipino Worker petition to Broadcast Industry in the UK was written by Philippine Foundation and is in the category Media Issues at GoPetition.